Author's Note: It's the end! It all comes down to this. Thank you all who read this story and supported it despite typos, mixed up sentences, grammar problems, or any other difficulties. I appreciate each and every one of you. I would also like to thank Mr. Burton, Mr. Elfman, Disney, Touchstone Pictures, and Capcom for all they have already done for The Nightmare Before Christmas and inspiring me to write my first fanfiction on it. And now, without further ado, the end.
Sally found it easy to sneak off from the celebrating Halloween Townsfolk, she always had. This walk reminded her of the night she heard Jack reveal his loss of excitement for Halloween. Jack didn't know that, though. He had never seen her that night. It wasn't until a short while later that he really saw something in Sally that made him happy.
He was standing on the very top of the hill in almost that same pose when she reached the hill. Sally walked up to meet him eagerly. Even with all the trouble they had lately, Sally could not help herself in thinking how wonderful it was to be alone with Jack. Apparently, Jack felt the same way, showing so by reaching for both of Sally's hands.
"What was it you wanted to tell me?" Sally asked.
"I'm sorry, for one thing. It was wrong for me to keep this giant plan of mine secret from you. I had a feeling you would try to talk me out of it," Jack said with an awkward chuckle.
"You're right, I would have. I probably would've succeeded too."
"Rightfully so. I wanted to make you feel special. I know you've loved me for a very long time-"
"Since I first saw you," Sally interrupted before blushing, "I'm sorry, go ahead."
"You were always there for me. You are my very best friend and the one person I can consider telling anything to. That is why I want to let you know what I've learned about love."
"Didn't you know about it before?"
"What I thought I knew was wrong. I thought love had to be shown in these extreme gestures that grabbed attention. Love was supposedly this big presentation that I had to scream from every rooftop in Halloween Town. But it's so much more than that. Not that I would mind doing the gestures or going on the rooftops if you asked me to."
"Only if I ask you to."
"Right. So if you ask me to go on every rooftop in Halloween Town and yell 'I love Sally', I will without a doubt in my mind."
"That's very nice of you Jack, but in any case, I prefer more personal signs of affection."
"Well, I don't know. Are you even sure we should be talking about this?"
"Sally, I want to make sure you are always happy with me and I never want to hurt you either by accident or on purpose."
"Jack, if it's accidental, then it can't be controlled all that much. You said so yourself that some things can't be controlled."
"See! There you are, helping me again. Still, I'd hate for you to feel sad or upset over a stupid thing I do or say."
"We'll just have to deal with those things as they come. We can't always be perfect either, Jack."
"We can be close to perfect."
"Jack, are you even sure we can work? I mean, you're the most eligible bachelor in Halloween Town after all. All the women are after you, you can have anything and anyone you want. I'm just a failed creation."
"Sally, why bring that up? It doesn't matter to me if I'm the most eligible bachelor or the most ignored. I still care about you. And you are not a failed creation. You are far from that."
"Are you sure, Jack? You won't replace me like the doctor did?"
"Never! If this is about Eris, that woman was toying with all of our minds."
"I know, it's just... I've loved you for so long, but only in my mind. I never had a full grasp on you until the night we kissed for the first time. Up until then, I could be fine if you fell in love with anyone else because you were never really mine to begin with. Now that we're a couple, I scare myself thinking about losing you or if you ever left me. I don't think I'd ever be able to pull through."
"Why didn't you ever tell me any of this before?"
"I didn't think you'd realize or maybe that you wouldn't take me seriously," Sally said as she let out a heavy breath.
"You have a point on my not being able to realize due to this thick skull of mine, but not taking you seriously? My poor Sally," Jack said as he embraced her, "You'll never have to worry about me leaving you because that is something I'd never do."
"Your skull's not thick, Jack. It's just usually up in the clouds. Not that I mind, of course. You always come up with the best ideas."
"I was hoping you'd say that."
"Jack, what do you mean?"
"I have an idea for us," Jack said as he let Sally out of the embrace, "If you agree with it, that is."
"What are you thinking?" Sally asked, both out of curiosity and a bit of wariness.
Jack didn't answer her immediately. He was too busy trying to bend on one knee and keep his balance on the hill. He took Sally's hands once again and looked straight into her eyes as he spoke and tried not to fall off the hill with her at the same time.
"Sally, this thought came to mind many times during this experience. Watching all the people in Valentine Town and being immersed in love in its many forms made me realize that if there is one person I want to spend my afterlife with, it's you. You make me feel glad to be Jack Skellington and the Pumpkin King. You've seen me at my best and worst and yet you've always defended me and helped me through tough times. You are always willing to give your all and more just to see me smile. You are not only my best friend, but you are also my love. I will never care for any other woman as much as I care about you. That is why I would like to have another honor, being your husband. Will you marry me?"
"I don't know what to say," Sally said with a look of pure surprise on her face.
"Yes would be nice."
"Yes. Yes, Jack. I will marry you."
"You will? Really?" Jack asked as he got up.
"It's all I ever wanted."
"Is it? Because I don't exactly have a ring right now due to all the pandemonium that's happened lately and we'll still have to break the news to the doctor."
"We'll just have to deal with all of that together then."
"Together. You and I. The way it was meant to be."
"I love you, Jack."
Jack didn't answer Sally with words. He simply kissed her. That was the best way for him to let Sally know just how blissful he felt. Once again, the two rekindled their love where it all started. While last time, their only witness was Zero, the wandering eyes of the Goddess of Love were looking at them this time, and tearing up.
"Oh, Jack. You did it. I'm going to cry," Venus said in between held sobs as she looked at Midnight Hill from the edge of the woods.
"Venus, what are you doing?" Santa Claus asked.
"Have you a handkerchief? I am about to shed tears."
"Lady Venus, our time here is over. We need to return to our respective lands," Tevel said.
"I hope they remember me when they plan the wedding."
"What?! I thought I warned you about meddling."
"I am not meddling if it is love," Venus said before letting tears drop from her eyes.
"She has a point, you know." Rabbi Tevel said to Santa Claus.
"Can we please go to our homes yet?" Jacob asked from the woods. "My charges are getting restless."
"Come along, Venus. I'm sure Jack will tell us every last detail once we meet again on the twenty-eighth."
With that, a crying Venus took Santa Claus' hand and walked with the Council of Celebrations into the woods. They all returned to their respective homes and life as usual. Valentine's Day happened without a hitch in the Real World, which put quite a rare smile on Saint Valentine's face that Venus hoped would last him the rest of the year. All the trouble with Eris was now a memory best forgotten unless it was useful to prevent such madness from happening again.
As for Jack, he did mention his engagement to the Council on the twenty-eighth. Cupid was very interested in the conversation, as he had to relay everything back to his mother. Besides that, everything was business. There was talk about perhaps holding a mass holiday for all the worlds to get acquainted with one another, but it was better to hold that one in the summer months. Right now, everything was fine. Jack had much to look forward to in the coming months, and he was more than ready to take on everything that could be dealt to him. To Jack, the nightmares were over and the dreams were just beginning.
P.S. Thank you again for reading! (Re-edit Comment: Once again, thank you for reading that last version. I hoped you enjoyed this one too.)